Share the buzz of the Big Bee Challenge Weekend in our gardens

We’re all abuzz at the National Garden Scheme as we head towards the BBC’s Radio 2 Big Bee Challenge weekend on Saturday 31st July  – 1st August when a host of our fabulous bee-keeping gardens are opening their gates for a special bee-friendly day (or two) to share their love of bees – and their beautiful gardens – with visitors.

Our bee blogger Colin David will be opening his lovely garden at Southlands Lodge, Surrey on Sunday 1st August and is looking forward to sharing his knowledge with visitors. At Broadleas House, Wiltshire also on Sunday 1st, professional beekeeper Graham Davison who has eight hives in the garden will be around to answer questions and there’ll be Broadleas Honey and local area honey for sale too. You can read more about the bee garden at Broadleas (pictured below) here.

Broadleas House Gardens Wiltshire

In Wales, two very special bee gardens will open with pre-booking essential. Gelli Uchaf, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire is a wildlife haven with a lovely one and half acre garden and six acres of wildflower meadows – heaven for bees! Open on both days you’ll need to be quick to book your place.

Glyn Bach Gardens, in Pembrokeshire is also open on the Sunday. This three acres of garden is packed with numerous perennial borders, alpine walls, tropical beds, a large pond, bog garden, rose garden, grass beds, cottage garden, polytunnels, greenhouse and succulent bed, and is surrounded by three acres of mixed woodland and grassland. What makes it extra special is that many of its beds are planted specifically for the bees and the owners are also the holders of a National Collection of Monarda – aka Bee Balm – perhaps the most perfect of all plants for bees. Discover the garden and more about Monarda from expert owners Peter and Carole Whittaker.


For beauty and bees these four gems are well worth exploring too: Moleshill House in Cobham, Tudor Lodgings, Norfolk and Hoopers Farm, East Sussex and The Folly, Chichester, West Sussex.

Two London gardens are opening in Hackney on Sunday 1st August too – 53 and 55 Mapledene Road open together for one admission price meaning you get double bees for your money. Find out more here.

“We’re thrilled that some of our bee-keeping gardens have agreed so enthusiastically to join in with the Radio 2 Big Bee Challenge weekend by opening their gates and sharing their expertise,” says National Garden Scheme Chief Executive, George Plumptre. “Bees and other pollinators are critical to gardens, we simply wouldn’t have the fabulous flowers, fruits and vegetables that we enjoy without them. We hope visitors enjoy their visits and learn more about bees on this special weekend.”


For Big Bee Challenge Weekend gardens July 31/ August 1 click here

For all our bee-friendly gardens click here

For more about bees and planting for bees click here


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